Student`s Name (first and last name)


Student’sName (first and last name)


Coulombexplosion during the early stages of the reaction of alkali metalswith water

Thearticle” Coulomb explosion during the early stages of the reactionof alkali metals with water” was written by Masonet al. (2015), is about alkali metals and how they explode when incontact with water. The article was an investigation of the howalkali (Sodium) react vigorous water. The results obtained in thearticle is that heat is released, ignition occurs (hydrogen has isproduced), and there is steam formation is also affirmed by Inoue,Kubokawa, &amp Sato (1991).According to the authors, the water results to explosion of thealkali metal. Consequently, they concluded that when sodium metalcame into contact with water electrons are released from the sodiumsurface.

Inthe observation, it is evident that there is vigorous reactionbetween water and alkali metal. However, the results showed thatthere is no self-quenching of the reaction by the products becausethe high speed camera imaging of the liquid that was acted very fastleading to the explosion that was experienced. The results showedthat alkali metals are very reactive with water. The reason forexplosive is because sodium and water react to form hydrogen gasbecause its ionizations energy is very high but less than that oflithium thus made the scientist to doubt the explanation given(Campbell,2012).

Predictionand information gathered from what I know is that Sodium reacts veryexothermically with water to form sodium hydroxide and hydrogen gas(Zhaiet al., 2010).Additionally, because the reaction is exothermic heat is releasedwhen alkali metal contact water. The reaction between the two is asbelow:

Sodium+ water sodium hydroxide + hydrogen gas

Theinformation at hand is very crucial because it makes it clear thatreaction experienced in the experiment affirm the release of theelectrons from the alkali metal.

Inconclusion, the findings showed that sodium react vigorously withwater releasing a gas and the reaction is exothermic (generatesheat). Thehypotheses is that the system used reached its maximum Rayleighlimits very fast resulting to coulomb explosion of the alkali metaldropped in water. This creates a room for further research becausethere is a need to know whether the same reaction will be the same ifRayleigh limits is not applied in the experiment.


Campbell,C. T. (2012). Catalyst-support interactions: Electronicperturbations. Naturechemistry,4(8),597-598.

Inoue,Y., Kubokawa, T., &amp Sato, K. (1991). Photocatalytic activity ofalkali-metal titanates combined with ruthenium in the decompositionof water. theJournal of Physical Chemistry,95(10),4059-4063.

Mason,P. E., Uhlig, F., Vaněk, V., Buttersack, T., Bauerecker, S., &ampJungwirth, P. (2015). Coulomb explosion during the early stages ofthe reaction of alkali metals with water. Naturechemistry.

Zhai,Y., Pierre, D., Si, R., Deng, W., Ferrin, P., Nilekar, A. U., … &ampFlytzani-Stephanopoulos, M. (2010). Alkali-stabilized Pt-OHx speciescatalyze low-temperature water-gas shift reactions. Science,329(5999),1633-1636.